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  March 18, 2010: Volume 10, Number 25 |
Dear SkiPost;

I just read the latest Ski Post, and I think there was some confusion regarding the product referred to in the question, and what the answer related to. The emailed question was this:

"They did a 3 step wax and scrape initial base Preparation using Swix waxes. Since I've used Swix molyflouro Base Conditioner to good advantage on my older pairs, I was surprised when they advised me not to use it on these new skis. They seemed worried that the pores in the base would be adversely affected by that product, instead they recommended using frequent applications of "the wax of the day". Have you heard anything to suggest that they are correct about avoiding the Base Conditioner?"

I believe the product referred to in the question is actually this: Swix Cleaner/Conditioner For years there has been a struggle to "purge" the old fluoro from race skis because it could build up and prevent the new wax from properly penetrating into the base. The solution is the new Swix Glide Wax Cleaner that removes the old fluoro while leaving the basic hydrocarbon wax intact. Apply cleaner and brush with nylon brush while wet. Wipe clean, let dry 5-30 minutes and brush with stiff bronze or soft stainless brush. Iron in base prep wax.
The answer to the question, from Kevin Sweeney, does not refer to this product, but talks about Swix MB77 base prep. I didn't send the question, but became confused when I thought the question was about the Swix Glide Wax Cleaner/Conditioner, and the answer only talked about MB77 as a base prep. Maybe I'm wrong, but it looks like a mix-up here.

Wondering if you could address the Swix glide wax cleaner as a product, as this is something that has historically gone against the past ways of cleaning skis, normally recommended using a hot scrape method.

BTW, at a recent wax clinic for our ski club prior to the Birkie, I had Josh Korn clean my skis with this product. I had been getting some black substance in the wax when scraped them, even after 20 hot wax clean scrapes. I waxed them after Josh cleaned them, and raced them in the Birkie after cleaning with the product. The skis preformed very well, and I'm not getting the black substance in my wax anymore when I scrape.



Thanks for writing on this.  You are correct in saying that the new product on the market from SWIX (product number: I84) is designed to remove/dissolve older race applications.  This process is more effective and quicker than the hot scraping that has been recommended in the past.  However, hot scraping is still a fine method. 

It's safe to say that if your experience with this product was a good one, it is another great testimonial for it.  We sincerely appreciate you clearing this up for people, and reminding SWIX that they have this product that is worth talking about!
Kikkan Podiums at Holmenkollen 

Skate sprints don't come along too often on the World Cup, so I get pretty excited when they do!  My last World Cup skate sprint was back in Davos in December and it was hard to imagine then that I would have to wait three months for my next shot!
I had good momentum coming off the Olympics, where I came into peak shape at just the right time and hit all my goals.  Peaks however can be tricky and it was hard to know how long the top form would last.  I hoped it would at least continue for the three weeks I had left on the World Cup.
A solid 24th place result in the 15km duathlon in Lahti was encouraging.  A few days later, not qualifying in the Drammen sprint was a big disappointment and my confidence was tested.  To top it off, I was still sitting just outside of the top 50 in the overall World Cup rankings, which I needed to be in to move on to the World Cup finals in Falun, Sweden.  I needed a good performance on Sunday for many reasons.
Kikkan Randall -NordicFocus/Salomon
Kikkan Randall
I chose to sit out Saturday's mass-start 30km skate race in order to be rested and ready for Sunday's sprint.  Next year's World Championships will be contested on the courses that we are racing this weekend and it was going to be important to gain as much experience and confidence on the sprint course as possible.
The final Nordic Combined World Cup race of the season was underway when we arrived, so we weren't allowed to warm-up on the course until the race was finished.  I grabbed some warm-up skis and jogged the 600m to the warm-up track through thongs of fans making their way into the stadium.  I felt heavy from all the nervous energy and spent the first twenty minutes coaxing myself up to pace.
When the course finally did open, about 35 minutes before the start, I met up with Peter to test skis.  The snow was drastically different on certain sections of the course and it took some careful attention to select the right pair.
Somehow I got a little behind on my pre-race schedule and ended up running to the start a little flustered.  On my way, I ducked in front of this group of guys just as one of them was popping the cork off a shaken bottle of champagne.  It turned out to be the Finnish Nordic Combined team that was celebrating their successful end of the season.  The cork narrowly missed my head but the champagne ended up spraying over my face as I ran by.  I figured that was a good luck omen!
After a long and eager wait it was great to finally get on course and get the racing started!  I carried good speed up and out of the stadium and around the first turn.  Then I ducked down the course's only real downhill and burst onto the backside climb.  I jump skated aggressively up the hill because I knew this would be a good place for me to make time. 
Coming over the top the effort was starting to sink in but I was still able to make crisp movements.  There was a headwind along the next stretch and I fought my way into it and down into the stadium.  Gliding down the gradual decent it was tempting to want to sit in a tuck, but I knew I had to keep free skating forcefully. 
My momentum carried me partway up the final climb and I V2'd for a couple big strides before switching back to a jump skate.  This hill had been scraped down to ice in some sections, so I had to be light on my feet to sift through the sugar and keep from slipping. 
I hit the headwind again going across the top of the biathlon range and my body was really burning from the effort.  I could see the finish line.  I dropped down and sailed up and over the final bridge and into the last stretch.  I free-skated aggressively for a few strides and then rose up into an overspeed V2-alternate.  Then I slid my foot across the line for 8th position, 3 seconds out of the lead.
While it was a really hard effort, the type where you think to yourself "how can I possibly do that three more times today?"  My legs were like wood, my mouth was dry and every time I tried to clear my throat I would gag and almost throw-up.  Yet it was great to get the first round done, especially knowing that I felt strong.  Usually when I qualify in the top 10, I know I'm in good form.
I slowly jogged a cool-down and then found an open spot in the VIP room to relax until it was time for the finals.  It was a pretty crowded room.  I casually nibbled on a banana and snacked on some PowerBar Gel Blasts and semi-consciously watched the jumping competition on TV.  After about an hour, it was time to get going again.
8th qualifying position put me in the 5th women's quarterfinal.  This was good because I could watch the other heats go and examine different strategies at work.  I noticed that most of those leading off the final hill were able to advance.  So I decided my strategy would be to get a fast start and try to get into the top one or two spots from the beginning.
In my semi-final round I got off to a good start and was able to tuck in behind Hanna Falk of Sweden as we left the stadium.  I followed her up the big climb.  The pace was just right.  Fast enough to keep the others from making attacks but still manageable. 
As we came down into the stadium however, Vesna Fabian of Slovenia came free skating by on the right.  Falk responded a little late and by the time we hit the steep icy slope, the others had come surging up as well.  I was trapped behind Falk dropping back to forth.  I almost panicked but then was able to get around as we went along the flat above the biathlon range where I got back into 2nd going around the final turn and into the finish.  Korosteleva had another strong finish and we both advanced to the final.
There was only about 10 minutes to rest by the time I got back to the start area and put my warm-ups on.  I jogged around to stay loose.  Despite having three rounds in my legs already, I was feeling better and better as the day went on.  I was psyched to lay it down in the final.
When we lined up for the start the announcer gave each one of us an introduction.  There were an estimated 30,000 spectators on hand and while it wasn't as big as Bjorgen's, I got a pretty good cheer. 
I started on the far left lane to the inside.  I knew I was going to need a good start to keep from getting cut-off.  I crouched for the gun once more and reacted instantly when I heard the crack!

I sprinted hard for the first 100m to get out front.  As we neared the top of the first rise, Falk was to my left but she didn't challenge for the lead.  I thought to myself, "okay, I'll lead if I have to."  I took the lead going around the first corner but eased back on the pace a bit.  Just then, Kowalczyk came powering by on my right and took the lead.  I responded quickly and tucked in behind her on the next downhill.  This was perfect; I could follow Kowalczyk and save energy for an attack in the 2nd half. 
Sprinting up the big climb, Kowalczyk was jump skating at a pretty good pace, but I pulled over to the right to defend my position.  For a few seconds I contemplated passing her and going for a break.  Falk tried to come up on the left side.  Then someone stepped on my ski and I got partly spun sideways.  There was a split second of panic but I had so much momentum I was able to regain my stride quickly and tuck back in 2nd behind Kowalczyk over the top of the hill.  I continued to play defense and draft behind Kowalczyk across the next flat. 
As we headed down the hill into the stadium, I stayed behind for just a few seconds and then tried to get a slingshot out of the draft, free-skating hard to take the lead.  I got open snow up the steep icy climb and jump skated my way to the front.  I sprinted hard but tried to vary my pace across the flat and then made a big surge going around the final turn.  I made it up and over the bridge and sailed into the final stretch with the lead.
This time I didn't tuck; I went straight into free skating aggressively as I could.  Suddenly, with just 100m to go, a dark shadow came bursting up next to me on the right.  It was Bjorgen.  She was madly V2'ing while I was still free skating.  It took me a second to respond and get up on to my poles.  By then her momentum was too great and she got a couple meters on me.  Just before crossing the finish line another shadow came up on the right.  It was Korosteleva charging hard.  But I was able to stick my foot out and hold 2nd place.  The crowd was roaring.
Immediately, Bjorgen came over to me and we exchanged handshakes and then also with Korosteleva.  We were all happy to have a great finish to hard day.  I was super psyched and relieved to be back on the podium.   Grover came running up and gave me a big hug.  It feels good to have a successful result like this not just for me but also for the team.  I have a great team behind me and they did a wonderful job with the skis and support to make this podium finish possible.  It was great to share it with everyone.
I changed into dry clothes there in the finish area and watched the men's final.  Then we did a flower ceremony, a press conference and a quick stop in doping control.  Thankfully I was plenty hydrated!
By the time I got back to the wax cabin, everyone was chanting and celebrating and in a really good mood.  I shared my story about getting sprayed in the face with champagne earlier in the day and we joked about making that a new pre-race ritual.
Later that evening all of the US, Canadian and Norwegian team members were invited to the US Ambassador's house for a reception.  US Ambassador Barry White gave a welcome speech and then each team had a representative say a little something.  Devon Kershaw gave a nice speech on behalf of the Canadians and Billy Demong represented us well, even including a little Norwegian at the end of his talk.  It was a great chance to celebrate a good week of racing and maybe recruit a few more fans for cross-country skiing!
Taking 2nd place at this Holmenkollen World Cup sprint was important in so many ways.  Firstly, it was a good buoy to my confidence and motivation for the future.  It feels good to be a true contender for the win.  Especially since the Olympic sprint was classic, it's nice to know I would have been in there if it had been skate!  Secondly, it was sweet to put down a good result and gather a bunch of experience in preparation for next year's World Championships. And lastly, I needed a good result to get enough points to qualify for the finals in Falun this next week.
So now I head off to Stockholm for the start of the World Cup finals.  It will be a classic sprint there on Wednesday, with the course laid out over the steps of the Royal Palace.  Then on Friday we'll be in Falun for three days of racing back to back in the form of a mini-tour. 
Thanks for tuning in!!


Fischer's Olympic Success

Fischer Olympic Podium


New record: Fischer athletes have never won as many Olympic medals as they did in Vancouver 2010. The medal count in the four Nordic sports shows an impressive 31 gold, 19 silver and 24 bronze medals - over half of all the medals awarded. The Nordic number one has once again underscored its outstanding position in dominating style. And that applies not only to skis, but also for the first time to boots. The innovation forge from Austria is unrivalled in its leading position in the medals tally for Nordic skis and boots.


Royal duet at the Games


Petter Northug (NOR), who some fondly referred to as the King of Vancouver, and his gold medal in the 50km classic technique - the blue riband discipline in cross country skiing - is symbolic of the outcome of the Games for Fischer. 65% of all the gold medals were won by Fischer athletes. And the Norwegian-born most successful male athlete of the Games accounted for two of them. The Queen of the Games, Marit Bjørgen (NOR), who has full confidence in and success with Fischer's ski and boot package, took care of the crowning glory. The popular exceptional athlete was the busiest medal collector in Whistler Olympic Park (CAN) and the most successful Olympian with 3 gold medals and a silver and bronze to keep them company.


The Fischer athletes were obviously armed with the dominating equipment in the Nordic events at these Olympic Games. The skiers who had the RCS Classic Zero (classic race ski with roughened base) in their ski bag could count themselves lucky. With the predominant weather conditions consisting of snowfall and temperatures around 0°C, this wonder weapon played a part in the success of a number of medallists.


Milestone with complete package


Magdalena Neuner (GER) left her mark on the biathlon competitions. The athlete with Fischer skis and boots made it to the very top of the podium twice. The additional silver medal made the German hotshot skier the best biathlete of the Games. And surprise winners such as Vincent Jay (FRA) with the ski and boot package and Anstasyia Kuzmina (SVK) also place their trust in the winning yellow equipment. Tora Berger (NOR) went one step further and earned herself a place in the history books: she was the first athlete ever to win Olympic gold with the complete package of skis, boots and poles from the successful company.

Gear Guide: Wax Reports
The latest wax reports from across the country:

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The Factory Team's wax bus is FOR SALE!!  For more information on the wax bus, specs, and prices please CLICK HERE for more information

mobile wax trailer

*The Equinox Ski Challenge *
Event Name: Equinox Ski Challenge
Date: March 20-21, 2010
Location: Rendezvous Ski Trails, West Yellowstone, MT.

Event Website:

Race Type: team relay or solo/ 3, 6, 12, or 24 Hour/
Contact: Sam Newbury
Phone: (406)-209-3533

About SkiPost

Cross-Country skiing's community lodge. Where knowledge and stories are shared. The goal of SkiPost is to make the sport of Cross-Country skiing easier and more enjoyable for all who choose to participate. If you have questions on Cross-Country Skiing see or email us at

Enjoy Winter,
Andrew Gerlach
Director - SkiPost

Justin Easter
Editor - SkiPost I Love You, Kate!!!!!!!!!!!
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